SUV Rollover Accidents In Florida
Rollover accidents can occur with any type of passenger vehicle. However, they are somewhat more common in sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and vans than they are in automobiles, because of the higher center of gravity. If you are involved in an SUV accident, and the vehicle rolls over, your injuries can be even more severe than they might be in a standard road crash, and it may be possible for you to seek compensation for your injuries in many different ways.
Disproportionate Injury & Fatality Rate
Rollover accidents are comparatively rare, but they make up a disproportionate amount of road fatalities. Only about 2 percent of vehicle accidents are rollover crashes in a given year, but the fatalities that happen in those crashes make up 35 percent of all accident deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those, a high percentage come in accidents involving SUVs, because most SUVs are built on light truck chassis, which both raise the vehicle’s center of gravity and in turn, make it able to handle more weight which can make it top-heavy.
In addition to the SUV-specific factors, many causes of rollover crashes are generalized – for example, speed is a very common factor in this type of crash, as well as substance usage or location (rollovers are more common in rural areas, given the roads are more likely to be straight and easy to navigate, so drivers will become distracted). More specific causes are sometimes illuminated as well – for example, a vehicle may have a defective part or be designed in a defective manner.
How To Seek Compensation?
If you have been involved in a SUV rollover accident, know that because Florida is a no-fault state, your first claim for compensation must be made with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurer. Florida requires that every driver in the state carry at least $10,000 of PIP coverage and $10,000 of property damage liability coverage, and instead of filing suit against a defendant, drivers are required to seek compensation for minor injuries through their insurer. If someone’s injuries are “significant and permanent,” however, it is possible to file suit against the person allegedly responsible.
That said, in some cases, it may be possible to bring suit against the manufacturer of your SUV, or of a part of your SUV, under a legal theory of product liability. If you can establish that your accident occurred due to the defective design of your car (or a part, such as the roof or tires), you may be able to hold the manufacturer or seller liable for the harm you have suffered. Product liability cases do not fall under Florida’s no-fault system, so you should be able to file an ordinary claim in court if this is the route you choose to take.
Call A Tampa Rollover Accident Attorney
Rollover accidents can cause life-threatening injuries and even death. If you believe that your SUV accident was due to a defective part or to someone else’s negligence, contacting a Tampa car accident lawyer at the Rinaldo Law Group can be the first step toward getting your questions answered about where to go from here. Call us today for a free consultation.